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  • 2. All questions from June 2010 to June 2013 2
  • 3. JUNE 2013 In an observational study, 100 cars were fitted with video cameras to record the driver’s behaviour. Two psychologists used content analysis to analyse the data from the films. They found that 75% of accidents involved a lack of attention by the driver. The most common distractions were using a hands-free phone or talking to a passenger. Other distractions included looking at the scenery, smoking, eating, personal grooming and trying to reach something within the car. 1 8 What is content analysis? (2 marks) 1 9 Explain how the psychologists might have carried out content analysis to analyse the film clips of driver behaviour. (4 marks) 2 0 Explain how the two psychologists might have assessed the reliability of their content analysis. (3 marks) The psychologists then designed an experiment to test the effects of using a handsfree phone on drivers’ attention. They recruited a sample of 30 experienced police drivers and asked them to take part in two computer simulated driving tests. Both tests involved watching a three-minute film of a road. Participants were instructed to click the mouse as quickly as possible, when a potential hazard (such as a car pulling out ahead) was spotted. Each participant completed two computer-simulated driving tests: • Test A, whilst chatting with one of the psychologists on a hands-free phone • Test B, in silence, with no distractions The order in which they completed the computer tests was counterbalanced. 2 1 Explain why the psychologists chose to use a repeated measures design in this experiment. (3 marks) 2 2 Identify one possible extraneous variable in this experiment. Explain how this variable may have influenced the results of this experiment. (3 marks) 2 3 Explain how one factor in this experiment might affect its external validity. (3 marks) 2 4 Explain one or more ethical issues that the psychologists should have considered in this experiment. (4 marks) 3
  • 4. 2 5 Write a set of standardised instructions that would be suitable to read out to participants before they carry out Test A, chatting on a hands-free phone. (5 marks) The computer simulator measured two aspects of driver behaviour: • The number of hazards detected by each driver • The time taken to respond to each hazard, in seconds The mean scores for each of these measures is shown in Table 1 Table 1 Table to show the mean number of hazards detected and mean reaction Times in seconds for Test A and Test B Mean scores Test A: with hands-free Test B: in silence phone Number of hazards 26.0 23.0 detected Reaction time in seconds 0.45 0.27 The psychologists then used an inferential statistical test to assess whether there was a difference in the two conditions. 2 6 identify an appropriate statistical test to analyse the difference in the number of hazards detected in the two conditions of this experiment. Explain why this test of difference would be appropriate. (3 marks) They found no significant difference in the number of hazards detected (p > 0.05) but there was a significant difference in reaction time (p ≤ 0.01). 2 7 Explain why the psychologists did not think they had made a Type 1 error in relation to the difference in reaction times. (2 marks) 2 8 replication is one feature of the scientific method. The psychologists decided to replicate this experiment using a larger sample of 250 inexperienced drivers. Explain why replication of the study would be useful. (3 marks) 4
  • 5. JANUARY 2013 Some studies have suggested that there may be a relationship between intelligence and happiness. To investigate this claim, a psychologist used a standardised test to measure intelligence in a sample of 30 children aged 11 years, who were chosen from a local secondary school. He also asked the children to complete a self-report questionnaire designed to measure happiness. The score from the intelligence test was correlated with the score from the happiness questionnaire. The psychologist used a Spearman’s rho test to analyse the data. He found that the correlation between intelligence and happiness at age 11 was +0.42 1 7 Write an operationalised non-directional hypothesis for this study. (2 marks) 1 8 Identify an alternative method which could have been used to collect data about happiness in this study. Explain why this method might be better than using a questionnaire. (4 marks) 1 9 What is meant by internal validity? (1 mark) 2 0 Describe how the internal validity of the happiness questionnaire could be assessed. (3 marks) 2 1 A spearman’s rho test was used to analyse the data. Give two reasons why this test was used. (2 marks) Table 1: Extract from table of critical values for Spearman’s rho (r s) test N (number of participants) 29 30 31 Level of significance for a two-tailed test 0.10 0.05 Level of significance for a one-tailed test 0.5 0.25 0.312 0.368 0.306 0.362 0.301 0.356 Calculated rs must equal to or exceed the table (critical) value for significance at the level shown. 2 2 The psychologist used a non-directional hypothesis. Using Table 1, state whether or not the correlation between intelligence and happiness at age 11 (+0.42) was significant. Explain your answer. (3 marks) 5
  • 6. 2 3 Five years later, the same young people were asked to complete the intelligence test and the happiness questionnaire for a second time. This time the correlation was -0.29. With reference to both correlation scores, outline what these findings seem to show about the link between intelligence and happiness. (4 marks) The report was subjected to peer review before it was published in a journal. 2 4 What is meant by peer review? (2 marks) 2 5 Explain why peer review is an important aspect of the scientific process. (4 marks) 2 6 A psychology student was asked to design an investigation to see whether taking exercise could increase feelings of happiness. She proposed to do an experiment. She decided to recruit a sample of volunteers who had just joined a gym, by putting up a poster in the gym. She planned to carry out a short interview with each volunteer and to give each one a happiness score. She intended to interview the volunteers again after they had attended the gym for six weeks and to reassess their happiness scores to see if it had changed. The psychology student’s teacher identified a number of limitations of the proposed experiment. Explain one or more limitations of the student’s proposal and suggest how the investigation could be improved. (10 marks) 6
  • 7. JUNE 2012 1 6 Explain what is meant by replicability. Why is replicability an important feature of science? (5 marks) A maths teacher wondered whether there was a relationship between mathematical ability and musical ability. She decided to test this out on the GCSE students in the school. From 210 students, she randomly selected 10 and gave each of them two tests. She used part of a GCSE exam paper to test their mathematical ability. The higher the mark, the better the mathematical ability. She could not find a musical ability test so she devised her own. She asked each student to sing a song of their choice. She then rated their performance on a scale of 1-10, where 1 is completely tuneless and 10 is in perfect tune. 1 7 Suggest a suitable non-directional hypothesis for this study. marks) (3 1 8 Why might the measure of musical ability used by the teacher lack validity? (3 marks) 1 9 Explain how the teacher could have checked the reliability of the mathematical ability test. (3 marks) 2 0 Explain why the teacher chose to use a random sample for this study. marks) (2 7
  • 8. The results of the study are given in Table 1 below Table 1: Mathematical ability test scores and musical ability ratings for 10 students Student 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Mathematical ability test score 10 2 9 6 3 10 2 1 8 4 Musical ability rating 10 9 3 6 9 2 1 8 4 7 2 1 In your answer book, sketch a graph to show the data in Table 1. Give the graph an appropriate title and label the axes. ( 3 marks) 2 2 Discuss what the data in Table 1 and the graph that you have sketched seem to show about the relationship between mathematical ability and musical ability. (3 marks) 2 3 The teacher noticed that most of the students who were rated highly on musical ability were left-handed. The teacher is aware that her previous definition of musical ability lacked validity. Design a study to test whether there is a difference in the musical ability of lefthanded students and right-handed students. You have access to a sixth form of 200 students. You should: • Identify the design that you would use • Explain an appropriate sampling method and justify your choice • Describe the procedure that you would use, including details of how you would assess musical ability • Write a suitable debrief for these participants. (10 marks) 8
  • 9. 2 4 In your answer book, draw a table to show how you would record your results. Identify an appropriate statistical test to analyse the data that you would collect. Justify your choice. (3 marks) 9
  • 10. JANUARY 2012 Two psychologists investigated the relationship between age and recall of medical advice. Previous research had shown that recall of medical advice tended to be poorer in older patients. The study was conducted at a doctor’s surgery and involved a sample of 30 patients aged between 18 and 78 years. They all saw the same doctor, who made notes of the advice that she gave during the consultation. One of the psychologists interviewed each of the patients individually, immediately after they had seen the doctor. The psychologist asked each patient a set of questions about what the doctor had said about their diagnosis and treatment. The patients’ responses were recorded and then typed out. Working independently the psychologists compared each typed account with the doctor’s written notes in order to rate the accuracy of the accounts on a scale of 1 – 10. A high rating indicated that the patient’s recall was very accurate and a low rating indicated that the patient’s recall was very inaccurate. 1 6 The psychologists decided to propose a directional hypothesis. Why was a directional hypothesis appropriate in this case? (1 mark) 1 7 Write a suitable directional hypothesis for this investigation. (3 marks) 1 8 The psychologists were careful to consider the issue of reliability during the study. What is meant by reliability? (1 mark) 1 9 Explain how the psychologists might have assessed the reliability of their ratings. (3 marks) 2 0 This study collected both qualitative and quantitative data. From the description of the study above, identify the qualitative data and the quantitative data. (2 marks) The psychologists used Spearman’s rho to analyse the data from their investigation. They chose to use the 0.05 level of significance. The result gave a correlation coefficient of - 0.52. 2 1 Give two reasons why the psychologists used Spearman’s rho to analyse the data. (2 marks) 2 2 Using Table 1 below, state whether the result is significant or not significant and explain why. (2 marks) 10
  • 11. 2 3 Explain what is meant by a Type 1 error. (2 marks) 2 4 Use the information in Table 1 above to explain why the psychologists did not think that they had made a Type 1 error in this case. (3 marks) The psychologists then wanted to see whether the use of diagrams in medical consultations would affect recall of medical information. In a laboratory experiment involving a medical consultation role-play, participants were randomly allocated to one of two conditions. In Condition A, a doctor used diagrams to present to each participant a series of facts about high blood pressure. In Condition B, the same doctor presented the same series of facts about high blood pressure to each participant but without the use of diagrams. At the end of the consultation, participants were tested on their recall of facts about high blood pressure. Each participant was given a score out of ten for the number of facts recalled. 2 5 In this case, the psychologists decided to use a laboratory experiment rather than a field experiment. Discuss advantages of carrying out this experiment in a laboratory. (4 marks) 2 6 Identify an appropriate statistical test that the psychologists could use to analyse the data from the follow-up study. Give one reason why this test is appropriate. (2 marks) 11
  • 12. 2 7 Research has shown that music can affect the ability to concentrate. Design an experiment that could be carried out in a classroom to test the effects of two different kinds of music on a task requiring concentration (e.g. word search). You must use a repeated measures design. In your answer you should:  fully operationalise the independent and dependent variables  provide details of how you would control extraneous variables  describe the procedure that you would use. You should provide sufficient detail for the study to be carried out. (10 marks) 12
  • 13. JUNE 2011 It is thought that colours might affect our performance when carrying out certain tasks. Research in this area has been inconclusive. Some studies have shown that red improves performance but others have found the opposite. It could be that these contradictory results have arisen because red is beneficial only for certain kinds of mental processing. Some psychologists tested this hypothesis in a series of independent-groups design experiments using students at a Canadian university. The experiments involved computer tasks, with either a red, blue or neutral background appearing on the monitor. The researchers found that participants were better at a word-recall task and a spell-checking task when the screen background was red rather than blue or neutral. However, participants thought of more creative ideas when the screen was blue rather than red or neutral. The researchers concluded that red is beneficial for tasks that require attention to detail whereas blue aids creativity. 1 7 What were the researchers’ aims in this study? marks) (2 Imagine that you are writing up the report for this series of experiments. 1 8 What is the purpose of the introduction section of a report? (2 marks) A psychological report also contains a discussion section. Researchers are expected to consider their findings critically and discuss issues such as validity. 1 9 What is meant by validity? mark) (1 2 0 Explain how one factor in this study might affect its internal validity and how one factor might affect its external validity. (2 marks + 2 marks) 2 1 In the discussion section, researchers are also expected to consider any possible applications of their research. Suggest one practical application that might arise from these findings. (2 marks) In a further experiment, participants were given 20 blue shapes or 20 red shapes. They were then asked to pick 5 shapes and use them to make a toy suitable for a 13
  • 14. child aged between five and eleven years. They were given a limited time to carry out this task. Participants given red shapes made toys that independent judges rated to be more practical but less original, whereas participants given blue shapes made more creative toys. 2 2 Explain why the researchers asked independent judges to rate the toys. (2 marks) 2 3 Write a set of standardised instructions that would be suitable to read out to participants in this experiment. (5 marks) Psychological research suggests an association between birth order and certain abilities. For example, first-born children are often logical in their thinking whereas later-born children tend to be more creative. A psychologist wonders whether this might mean that birth order is associated with different career choices. She decides to investigate and asks 50 artists and 65 lawyers whether they were the first-born child in the family or not. 2 4 Write a non-directional hypothesis for this study. (2 marks) 2 5 Identify an appropriate sampling method for this study and explain how the psychologist might have obtained such a sample. (3 marks) The psychologist found the following results:  20 of the 50 artists were first-born children  35 of the 65 lawyers were first-born children . She analysed her data using a statistical test and calculated a value of X2 = 2.27. She then looked at the relevant table to see whether this value was statistically significant. An extract from the table is provided below. 14
  • 15. 2 6 Imagine that you are writing the results section of the report on this investigation. Using information from the description of the study above and the relevant information from the statistical table, provide contents suitable for the results section. You must provide all of the following:   an appropriately labelled 2  2 contingency table   a sketch of an appropriately labelled bar chart   identification of the appropriate statistical test with justification for its use   identification of an appropriate significance level   a statement of the results of the statistical test in relation to the hypothesis. (12 marks) 15
  • 16. JANUARY 2011 A teacher has worked in the same primary school for two years. While chatting to the children, she is concerned to find that the majority of them come to school without having eaten a healthy breakfast. In her opinion, children who eat ‘a decent breakfast’ learn to read more quickly and are better behaved than children who do not. She now wants to set up a pre-school breakfast club for the children so that they can all have this beneficial start to the day. The local authority is not willing to spend money on this project purely on the basis of the teacher’s opinion and insists on having scientific evidence for the claimed benefits of eating a healthy breakfast. 1 9 Explain why the teacher’s personal opinion cannot be accepted as scientific evidence. Refer to some of the major features of science in your answer. (6 marks) A psychologist at the local university agrees to carry out a study to investigate the claim that eating a healthy breakfast improves reading skills. He has access to 400 five-year-old children from 10 local schools, and decides to use 100 children (50 in the experimental group and 50 in the control group). Since the children are so young, he needs to obtain parental consent for them to take part in his study. 2 0 The psychologist used a random sampling method. Explain how he could have obtained his sample using this method. (3 marks) 2 1 Explain limitations of using random sampling in this study. (3 marks) 2 2 Explain why it is important to operationalise the independent variable and the dependent variable in this study and suggest how the psychologist might do this. (5 marks) 2 3 The psychologist used a Mann-Whitney test to analyse the data. Give two reasons why he chose this test. (2 marks) 2 4 He could have used a matched pairs design. Explain why this design would have been more difficult to use in this study. (2 marks) 2 5 Other than parental consent, identify one ethical issue raised in this study and explain how the psychologist might address it. (2 marks) 2 6 The psychologist asks some of his students to conduct a separate observational study at the same time on the same group of children. The aim of this observational 16
  • 17. study is to test the idea that eating a healthy breakfast affects playground behaviour. Design an observational study to investigate the effects of a healthy breakfast on playground behaviour. Include in your answer sufficient detail to allow for reasonable replication of the study. You should state the hypothesis you are setting out to test. In your answer, refer to:   an appropriate method of investigation  materials/apparatus and procedure. Justify your design decisions. (12 marks) 17
  • 18. JUNE 2010 1 8 Outline what is meant by the term peer review in psychological research. (2 marks) 1 9 Explain why peer review is important in psychological research. (5 marks) Read the text below and answer questions 2 0 , 2 1 and 2 2 . A psychologist was interested in looking at the effects of a restricted diet on psychological functioning. A group of 20 healthy, young adult volunteers agreed to spend four weeks in a research unit. They were kept warm and comfortable but given only water and small amounts of plain food. They were able to socialise with one another and watch television, but they had to keep to strict, set mealtimes and were not allowed to eat anything between meals. The psychologist carried out various tests of emotional and cognitive functioning during this four-week period. One area of interest for the psychologist was the effect of the dietary restriction on the perception of food. He tested this by asking the volunteers to draw pictures of food at the end of each week. When all the drawings had been completed, the psychologist used content analysis to analyse them. 2 0 What is meant by the term content analysis? (1 mark) 2 1 Explain how the psychologist might have carried out content analysis to analyse these drawings. (3 marks) 2 2 The psychologist needed to be sure that his participants understood the nature of the study so that they were able to give informed consent. Write a consent form which would be suitable for this study. Make sure there is sufficient information about the study for the participants to make an informed decision. (5 marks) 2 3 The psychologist was also interested in the effects of a restricted diet on memory functioning and he expected memory to become impaired. The psychologist’s hypothesis was that participants’ scores on a memory test are lower after a restricted diet than before a restricted diet. He gave the volunteers a memory test when they first arrived in the research unit and a similar test at the end of the fourweek period. He recorded the memory scores on both tests and analysed them using the Wilcoxon signed ranks test. 18
  • 19. He set his significance level at 5%. His calculated value was T = 53. State whether the hypothesis for this study is directional or non-directional. (1 mark) 2 4 Using Table 1, state whether or not the psychologist’s result was significant. Explain your answer. (3 marks) Read the text below and answer questions 2 5 to 2 8. A psychologist is using the observational method to look at verbal aggression in a group of children with behavioural difficulties. Pairs of observers watch a single child in the class for a period of one hour and note the number of verbally aggressive acts within ten-minute time intervals. After seeing the first set of ratings, the psychologist becomes concerned about the quality of inter-rater reliability. The tally chart for the two observers is shown in Table 2. 19
  • 20. 2 5 Use the data in Table 2 to sketch a scattergram. Label the axes and give the scattergram a title. (4 marks) 2 6 Using the data in Table 2, explain why the psychologist is concerned about interrater reliability. (4 marks) 2 7 Identify an appropriate statistical test to check the inter-rater reliability of these two observers. Explain why this is an appropriate test. (3 marks) 2 8 If the psychologist does find low reliability, what could she do to improve interrater reliability before proceeding with the observational research? (4 marks) 20